Author Topic: My current mind  (Read 1952 times)

Offline fluXx

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My current mind
« on: April 27, 2018, 05:45:19 am »
I started out this topic asking 2 or 3 questions, but while I was writing them down I realised things which in turn brought many new questions.
I'm sorry for this long rant. I would want to split it up in different topics, but it's all so connected for me that I don't know where to split.

First I must say that I suffer from depression.
It may be that my thoughts are clouded by it and that therefore I fail to see things that healthier people would notice.
I suffered from panic attacks and social anxiety for the last 15 years.
I was given benzodiapines (tranquilizers) by my gp. Soon it became a habbit and an addiction. It was the only way I could go out of my house.
Because of that I lived in a clouded reality for many years.
After several attempts and a stay in a rehab clinic, I was finally able to completely withdraw in November last year.
As with most people who have been addicted to tranquilizers, quite severe depression came upon me after completely quitting them.
I don't think the depression comes from dealing with traumatic events, but from the way these pills mess with your brain chemistry and even structure.

I'm afraid of death and isolation..
Even before this depression I remember myself as a young kid asking questions of an existential nature. For example around the age of five I asked my mom "why do we live?" and I asked my dad "if the universe began with the big bang, what was there before that?" Each time I asked these kind of questions I felt strong anxiety coming over me, but I had no idea why that was.
My young life wasn't always full of anxiety and depression. I remember many moments of great joy and magic.
A kind of magic that is lost to me now and where I desperately yearn for.
I just really want to be happy again.


I know this is not a mental health forum, but it is through this mental pain and in seeking answers to my existential demons that I stumbled on Buddhism.

Last night I was listening to Fred Davis on non dualism and the absence of the character or ego.
At the same time my 2 year old daughter was playing beside me.
I felt that a few things he said started to make a bit of sense until I was overwhelmed by a strong fear.
I looked at my little girl and I noticed how afraid I was of losing her and along all that I love. That because I may realise that none of us actually exist.
I feel how much I am attached to my girl, my wife, my parents and so on. I don't want to lose them even if their existence as an objecive human being is only an illusion.
I wouldn't mind having to lose any object, but not my loved ones. This feels really painful.

Another question I have:
How can I continue to love them if they're not really existing in the way I have always taken for granted?
If that is not true love, than what does true love look like?
Will my realization of truth not cause her suffering because I can't love her the same as I used to anymore?
Will this intense feeling of love disappear?
I have a fear that this realization will take love away from me and replace it with a lesser kind of love or even with a cold emptiness.
I'm really afraid of loneliness and isolation and that is the feeling I feel now when thinking about these concepts.
Is ignorance to the truth bliss after all?

A last question.
What is morality?
If there is no such thing as good and evil, why should we act in a way that doesn't cause suffering?
Why are buddhists always so kind and caring for everything if there is no good or bad.
What makes them act in ways that doesn't cause suffering? What is the motivation for that?

I guess my main question is:
Am I in great risk of causing myself more suffering by not realizing the nature of non-self and non-dualism but still keep trying to get it, then be told that I need to stop looking, that "I" cannot expect myself to wake up because there is no I....so I stop searching, but still the realization doesn't happen. And so I get back to where I started. Over and over again.

Can I actually be a good, loving and providing father / husband when in the middle of all these emotional ?
Am I not going to wind up depressed and next killing myself?
I'm saying this because I've felt like that before when searching.
I used to feel a sense of magic in my life.
Recently I became seriously depressed though and the magic seems gone.
Reading about and reflecting on Buddhist concepts isn't helping me. It honestly makes me feel worse.
Sometimes I wish there was a way to return to my simple and untroubled ignorant life. On the other hand Buddha and all those other people surely weren't joking when they said that end to suffering is possible.
Maybe my approach is just wrong and I should somehow give it a new chance, but I'm scared.

Recently when reading about Buddhism I feel that what I'm doing and what most other people around me are doing is pointless because we are all doing it for ourselves; to bring more comfort in our lives or for personal development.
We think we are a certain person who vaguely thinks he wants to achieve this and this and that.
So what is meaningful? What do people who are enlightened do with their time?
Except for those who teach their findings to others.
That automatically makes me think about the outcome of an enlightened humanity.
Why does the cycle of birth and rebirth stop after enlightment? if all humans in some distant future come to experience Nirvana, no humans will ever be born again. What is the point of this?
I am thinking that maybe I see things too literally while it is more abstract?
Maybe it's not whole human beings being reborn, but parts of their unawakened conciousness. What is this this conciousness anyway? How come it won't disappear when I die? Will I ever remember this life in a next life? Will I remember my daughter and family, friends?

Sorry for asking so many questions.
I don't expect to get answers on all of them. Just discussing one at a time would be great.
Thank you for reading.

Wouter

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: My current mind
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2018, 09:05:59 am »

I feel how much I am attached to my girl, my wife, my parents and so on. I don't want to lose them even if their existence as an objecive human being is only an illusion.
I wouldn't mind having to lose any object, but not my loved ones. This feels really painful.

How can I continue to love them if they're not really existing in the way I have always taken for granted?
If that is not true love, than what does true love look like?
Will my realization of truth not cause her suffering because I can't love her the same as I used to anymore?
Will this intense feeling of love disappear?
I have a fear that this realization will take love away from me and replace it with a lesser kind of love or even with a cold emptiness.
I'm really afraid of loneliness and isolation and that is the feeling I feel now when thinking about these concepts.
Is ignorance to the truth bliss after all?

I guess my main question is:
Am I in great risk of causing myself more suffering by not realizing the nature of non-self and non-dualism but still keep trying to get it, then be told that I need to stop looking, that "I" cannot expect myself to wake up because there is no I....so I stop searching, but still the realization doesn't happen. And so I get back to where I started. Over and over again.



1. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy might be what you are looking for to help with the depression: https://mbct.co.uk/

2. The attachments you lose are over-attachments to ideas, not the attachments you have to real people. Love continues, even grows stronger, although we may not do quite so many stupid things over it. What you read about illusion and attachment are technical terms which take a deal of understanding in a Buddhist sense, so it is not surprising you find it a rather puzzling aspect of Buddhist talk.

3. When you are told to 'stop looking' this again is technical jargon that takes many years to understand in the Buddhist context. Like when they say 'there is no I', and so on. These ideas are to study and talk through with others who are interested, not to be taken as 'gospel' and taken up straight away. The bad news is that there is no instant fix for the kind of suffering Buddhism talks about, and realization can take many years. The good news is that a couple of simple meditations, over a number of months, will help reduce anxiety and bring with them many other benefits, such as reduced blood pressure. Take a look at MBCT links and see what you think.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Anemephistus

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Re: My current mind
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2018, 02:14:15 pm »
It is good to have love, there is no truth which renders love false, truth only better defines love and expands it. You should have no fear in seeing your daughter as a safe person to love and care for, there is nothing true I know of which would ever threaten that, only bad perceptions of what is true. Over time maybe you will be fortunate enough with right effort to feel love for everyone. I love my daughter very much, and nothing I have learned has done anything but deepen that over time, and provide solid ground for real communication so that we can be genuinely close.

I am only so experienced, but I think on the subject of the dual nature there are things to consider. Firstly that depression is a medical problem and you might need to consider that if the topic of evaluating the nature of existence causes you anxiety and depression, it is not really a need anf there are many other wonderful teachings, but if you choose to look it over you should find a good small step approach.

Secondly that the "dual" part is very very important, what you are is not changed based on what you know about what you are, it is a fact already and everything you have felt and encountered is valid even if it was not pleasant it is already in history, our understanding grows and perception changes, facts of reality do not. The knowing of our nature is for the moment we are in, each moment , and because we engage it in the moment there is  no fear about the future, no regret about the past because we are here, present, and in the "now". The reflection on these things starts with study and starts by just "being" I would add with so much recent focus on just "being" and on mindfulness however that this process does not end there.

If you wonder about who you are, then I can say from just reading this that you have struggled, that you have precious things which you love, that you care enough to want to protect them and have desire enough to fear losing them if your thoughts are lead astray. You value love and that is wonderful!

The Buddha was very wise, the wisest being perhaps to have lived in a mortal shell. Encountering the high knowledge endeavors of knowing what and who we are and how we fit into the universe is the topic of much consideration for mankind, and Buddhism does offer a lot in this regard,  but I might consider looking first at the core of the teachings which give a foundation to understand these things from.  It is very important we don't think that our place is a Nihilistic existence in which nothing really matters, and that as far as I understand and have encountered it was not the message at all.

As a thought, it reads to me like you are looking up at a great mountain and wondering how you can ever run up it, you do have a lot of questions about how others have climbed it, perhaps you feel like you have to, which would panic anybody who is not acquainted with climbing! 

There is so much beauty in the world, and you don't have to run up the mountain to see it. To really appreciate the level of intricacy of the subject it is, in my opinion,  necessary to understand the underlying disposition and message of the base teachings.  I suggest a book, one which covers the subject in greater detail than is practical on a forum. There are several, this is a link to what other members thought were the best for beginners:


http://www.freesangha.com/forums/beginner's-buddhism/the-one-book-for-beginners/

I agree with the first post in that link and think that "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching" by Thich Nhat Hanh is an excellent place to start. It is not the only place to start and there are many good books listed I am sure, This one however I have read and it helped me understand a lot of things. 

A teacher could be very valuable as well, I live in an area where it is hard to find a sangha or meditation center so I read a lot and really only began posting here a few months ago-ish.  However I have been a Buddhist for awhile. Understanding the context of  teachings about our nature is critical, I have read it can lead to disastrous conclusions if the proper understanding and guidance is not taken into account along side of the effort to answer these things.

Take some time and study, I think it will help a lot! Keep in touch with a therapist as well! here is a link to the Buddhist recovery network on the subject of addiction if you wish to consider a deeper perspective on that subject as well.

http://www.buddhistrecovery.org/

Stay in touch! Much Love to you!





 

Offline lucid365

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Re: My current mind
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2018, 02:00:02 pm »
I started out this topic asking 2 or 3 questions, but while I was writing them down I realised things which in turn brought many new questions.
I'm sorry for this long rant. I would want to split it up in different topics, but it's all so connected for me that I don't know where to split.

First I must say that I suffer from depression.
It may be that my thoughts are clouded by it and that therefore I fail to see things that healthier people would notice.
I suffered from panic attacks and social anxiety for the last 15 years.
I was given benzodiapines (tranquilizers) by my gp. Soon it became a habbit and an addiction. It was the only way I could go out of my house.
Because of that I lived in a clouded reality for many years.
After several attempts and a stay in a rehab clinic, I was finally able to completely withdraw in November last year.
As with most people who have been addicted to tranquilizers, quite severe depression came upon me after completely quitting them.
I don't think the depression comes from dealing with traumatic events, but from the way these pills mess with your brain chemistry and even structure.

I'm afraid of death and isolation..
Even before this depression I remember myself as a young kid asking questions of an existential nature. For example around the age of five I asked my mom "why do we live?" and I asked my dad "if the universe began with the big bang, what was there before that?" Each time I asked these kind of questions I felt strong anxiety coming over me, but I had no idea why that was.
My young life wasn't always full of anxiety and depression. I remember many moments of great joy and magic.
A kind of magic that is lost to me now and where I desperately yearn for.
I just really want to be happy again.


I know this is not a mental health forum, but it is through this mental pain and in seeking answers to my existential demons that I stumbled on Buddhism.

Last night I was listening to Fred Davis on non dualism and the absence of the character or ego.
At the same time my 2 year old daughter was playing beside me.
I felt that a few things he said started to make a bit of sense until I was overwhelmed by a strong fear.
I looked at my little girl and I noticed how afraid I was of losing her and along all that I love. That because I may realise that none of us actually exist.
I feel how much I am attached to my girl, my wife, my parents and so on. I don't want to lose them even if their existence as an objecive human being is only an illusion.
I wouldn't mind having to lose any object, but not my loved ones. This feels really painful.

Another question I have:
How can I continue to love them if they're not really existing in the way I have always taken for granted?
If that is not true love, than what does true love look like?
Will my realization of truth not cause her suffering because I can't love her the same as I used to anymore?
Will this intense feeling of love disappear?
I have a fear that this realization will take love away from me and replace it with a lesser kind of love or even with a cold emptiness.
I'm really afraid of loneliness and isolation and that is the feeling I feel now when thinking about these concepts.
Is ignorance to the truth bliss after all?

A last question.
What is morality?
If there is no such thing as good and evil, why should we act in a way that doesn't cause suffering?
Why are buddhists always so kind and caring for everything if there is no good or bad.
What makes them act in ways that doesn't cause suffering? What is the motivation for that?

I guess my main question is:
Am I in great risk of causing myself more suffering by not realizing the nature of non-self and non-dualism but still keep trying to get it, then be told that I need to stop looking, that "I" cannot expect myself to wake up because there is no I....so I stop searching, but still the realization doesn't happen. And so I get back to where I started. Over and over again.

Can I actually be a good, loving and providing father / husband when in the middle of all these emotional ?
Am I not going to wind up depressed and next killing myself?
I'm saying this because I've felt like that before when searching.
I used to feel a sense of magic in my life.
Recently I became seriously depressed though and the magic seems gone.
Reading about and reflecting on Buddhist concepts isn't helping me. It honestly makes me feel worse.
Sometimes I wish there was a way to return to my simple and untroubled ignorant life. On the other hand Buddha and all those other people surely weren't joking when they said that end to suffering is possible.
Maybe my approach is just wrong and I should somehow give it a new chance, but I'm scared.

Recently when reading about Buddhism I feel that what I'm doing and what most other people around me are doing is pointless because we are all doing it for ourselves; to bring more comfort in our lives or for personal development.
We think we are a certain person who vaguely thinks he wants to achieve this and this and that.
So what is meaningful? What do people who are enlightened do with their time?
Except for those who teach their findings to others.
That automatically makes me think about the outcome of an enlightened humanity.
Why does the cycle of birth and rebirth stop after enlightment? if all humans in some distant future come to experience Nirvana, no humans will ever be born again. What is the point of this?
I am thinking that maybe I see things too literally while it is more abstract?
Maybe it's not whole human beings being reborn, but parts of their unawakened conciousness. What is this this conciousness anyway? How come it won't disappear when I die? Will I ever remember this life in a next life? Will I remember my daughter and family, friends?

Sorry for asking so many questions.
I don't expect to get answers on all of them. Just discussing one at a time would be great.
Thank you for reading.

Wouter
their is 5 hindrances which stop you from attaining 1st jhana, sensory desire,ill will,sloth and toper,restlessness worry,doubt
 it's important to be able to get into 1st jhana as it's the best mind state to be in to see reality as it really is,so I guess it's a good ideas to watch your patterns of worry and ur doubt and fear that ur expressing from what you posted and realise that ur watching a conditioned mind that can be reconditioned to your liking,watch how it is a waste of time to be fearing and worrying,retrain yourself to accept what way ur feeling now knowing that you can counter these negative feelings by focusing on the joyful things that u have like your kids,build up your well being with these thoughts,joy is 1 of the 7 factors of enlightenment ,my battery almost wasted lol

Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk


Offline fluXx

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Re: My current mind
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2018, 04:49:27 am »
1. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy might be what you are looking for to help with the depression: https://mbct.co.uk/

2. The attachments you lose are over-attachments to ideas, not the attachments you have to real people. Love continues, even grows stronger, although we may not do quite so many stupid things over it. What you read about illusion and attachment are technical terms which take a deal of understanding in a Buddhist sense, so it is not surprising you find it a rather puzzling aspect of Buddhist talk.

3. When you are told to 'stop looking' this again is technical jargon that takes many years to understand in the Buddhist context. Like when they say 'there is no I', and so on. These ideas are to study and talk through with others who are interested, not to be taken as 'gospel' and taken up straight away. The bad news is that there is no instant fix for the kind of suffering Buddhism talks about, and realization can take many years. The good news is that a couple of simple meditations, over a number of months, will help reduce anxiety and bring with them many other benefits, such as reduced blood pressure. Take a look at MBCT links and see what you think.

Thank you for your advice stillpointdancer.
I know a mindfulness and meditation class for anxiety and depression sufferers exists in my country as well. I haven't given it any consideration yet, but I think I will try it. What troubles me with meditation is the quietness. It brings all the sensations of anxiety, scary thoughts, restlessness of the mind and pain in the body much more to the front. There's no way to escape from them anymore. I guess that's the point of it all, but it makes me uncomfortable.
I think I do need to join a Buddhist practitioner's group too.
I'm reading so much and it often makes some sense intellectually, but I feel that I am only scratching the surface of what is beneath. What is paramount to me is a genuine experience that makes me know something.
Until recently I was so convinced of my immortality that it was like a belief. I never had the thought that one day I will die too. That is different now. I have lost that belief and what remains are the constant thoughts about the uncertainties that go with death.
What I've understood from a Buddhist point of view is that there is no such thing as "I" to begin with, so there is also no I that can die. My perception of an ego is a wrong perception clouded by all sorts of conditions of the mind that I have set up during my life. All there is is awareness which is not a property of only me.
It's this part that feels very religious to me. How can I test the validity of this idea? Are there any people here who know from direct experience that consciousness is eternal and that it continues after death? How can one find out?

The Buddha was very wise, the wisest being perhaps to have lived in a mortal shell. Encountering the high knowledge endeavors of knowing what and who we are and how we fit into the universe is the topic of much consideration for mankind, and Buddhism does offer a lot in this regard,  but I might consider looking first at the core of the teachings which give a foundation to understand these things from.  It is very important we don't think that our place is a Nihilistic existence in which nothing really matters, and that as far as I understand and have encountered it was not the message at all.
Dear Anemephistus,
Thank you for your very insightful words. I appreciate them very much.
It seems to me that you have experienced something which made you know that our place is not a Nihilistic existence.
Every time I read about Buddhist concepts I am stricken by the profoundness of them. However it is my way to think things over in a logical and deterministic way because that is what feels natural to me. When I continue along this line I always come out at this nihilistic view that there is no free will, everything is already decided and that death means the end is the only logical outcome.
Yet I also have the hope that this is not the case, but all my logical reasoning says that is just wishful thinking.
So, I need something different from reasoning and thinking. An experience of knowing.
What you have experienced I want to experience too. It's what I need to liberate myself from this state of fear.

I have ordered the book that you recommended.
As to find a teacher, I know there are many different schools of Buddhism also in my county.
I know of a Soto zen teaching center, but also a Tibetan monastery and a Thai Buddhist center among a few others.
How to find out which one is the best to go? I know that the zen center fully focuses on the meditation and mantra's. They don't go into the teachings and don't do the philosophical discussions.

their is 5 hindrances which stop you from attaining 1st jhana, sensory desire,ill will,sloth and toper,restlessness worry,doubt
 it's important to be able to get into 1st jhana as it's the best mind state to be in to see reality as it really is,so I guess it's a good ideas to watch your patterns of worry and ur doubt and fear that ur expressing from what you posted and realise that ur watching a conditioned mind that can be reconditioned to your liking,watch how it is a waste of time to be fearing and worrying,retrain yourself to accept what way ur feeling now knowing that you can counter these negative feelings by focusing on the joyful things that u have like your kids,build up your well being with these thoughts,joy is 1 of the 7 factors of enlightenment ,my battery almost wasted lol

Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk
Thank you for your helpful advice Lucid.
I'd like to know, do you know of any good book that covers both the theory as well as teaches the practical meditations on the topic of the 1st jhana and it's 5 hindrances?

Offline lucid365

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Re: My current mind
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2018, 06:12:00 am »
1. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy might be what you are looking for to help with the depression: https://mbct.co.uk/

2. The attachments you lose are over-attachments to ideas, not the attachments you have to real people. Love continues, even grows stronger, although we may not do quite so many stupid things over it. What you read about illusion and attachment are technical terms which take a deal of understanding in a Buddhist sense, so it is not surprising you find it a rather puzzling aspect of Buddhist talk.

3. When you are told to 'stop looking' this again is technical jargon that takes many years to understand in the Buddhist context. Like when they say 'there is no I', and so on. These ideas are to study and talk through with others who are interested, not to be taken as 'gospel' and taken up straight away. The bad news is that there is no instant fix for the kind of suffering Buddhism talks about, and realization can take many years. The good news is that a couple of simple meditations, over a number of months, will help reduce anxiety and bring with them many other benefits, such as reduced blood pressure. Take a look at MBCT links and see what you think.

Thank you for your advice stillpointdancer.
I know a mindfulness and meditation class for anxiety and depression sufferers exists in my country as well. I haven't given it any consideration yet, but I think I will try it. What troubles me with meditation is the quietness. It brings all the sensations of anxiety, scary thoughts, restlessness of the mind and pain in the body much more to the front. There's no way to escape from them anymore. I guess that's the point of it all, but it makes me uncomfortable.
I think I do need to join a Buddhist practitioner's group too.
I'm reading so much and it often makes some sense intellectually, but I feel that I am only scratching the surface of what is beneath. What is paramount to me is a genuine experience that makes me know something.
Until recently I was so convinced of my immortality that it was like a belief. I never had the thought that one day I will die too. That is different now. I have lost that belief and what remains are the constant thoughts about the uncertainties that go with death.
What I've understood from a Buddhist point of view is that there is no such thing as "I" to begin with, so there is also no I that can die. My perception of an ego is a wrong perception clouded by all sorts of conditions of the mind that I have set up during my life. All there is is awareness which is not a property of only me.
It's this part that feels very religious to me. How can I test the validity of this idea? Are there any people here who know from direct experience that consciousness is eternal and that it continues after death? How can one find out?

The Buddha was very wise, the wisest being perhaps to have lived in a mortal shell. Encountering the high knowledge endeavors of knowing what and who we are and how we fit into the universe is the topic of much consideration for mankind, and Buddhism does offer a lot in this regard,  but I might consider looking first at the core of the teachings which give a foundation to understand these things from.  It is very important we don't think that our place is a Nihilistic existence in which nothing really matters, and that as far as I understand and have encountered it was not the message at all.
Dear Anemephistus,
Thank you for your very insightful words. I appreciate them very much.
It seems to me that you have experienced something which made you know that our place is not a Nihilistic existence.
Every time I read about Buddhist concepts I am stricken by the profoundness of them. However it is my way to think things over in a logical and deterministic way because that is what feels natural to me. When I continue along this line I always come out at this nihilistic view that there is no free will, everything is already decided and that death means the end is the only logical outcome.
Yet I also have the hope that this is not the case, but all my logical reasoning says that is just wishful thinking.
So, I need something different from reasoning and thinking. An experience of knowing.
What you have experienced I want to experience too. It's what I need to liberate myself from this state of fear.

I have ordered the book that you recommended.
As to find a teacher, I know there are many different schools of Buddhism also in my county.
I know of a Soto zen teaching center, but also a Tibetan monastery and a Thai Buddhist center among a few others.
How to find out which one is the best to go? I know that the zen center fully focuses on the meditation and mantra's. They don't go into the teachings and don't do the philosophical discussions.

their is 5 hindrances which stop you from attaining 1st jhana, sensory desire,ill will,sloth and toper,restlessness worry,doubt
 it's important to be able to get into 1st jhana as it's the best mind state to be in to see reality as it really is,so I guess it's a good ideas to watch your patterns of worry and ur doubt and fear that ur expressing from what you posted and realise that ur watching a conditioned mind that can be reconditioned to your liking,watch how it is a waste of time to be fearing and worrying,retrain yourself to accept what way ur feeling now knowing that you can counter these negative feelings by focusing on the joyful things that u have like your kids,build up your well being with these thoughts,joy is 1 of the 7 factors of enlightenment ,my battery almost wasted lol

Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk
Thank you for your helpful advice Lucid.
I'd like to know, do you know of any good book that covers both the theory as well as teaches the practical meditations on the topic of the 1st jhana and it's 5 hindrances?
Hi fluXx,
I'm just studying the suttas,I've meditated for about 6 years,last year I found an American monk who has practiced in Thailand for about 35 years,he thought me a lot of things and best of all he teaches you what u need to know without all the bullshit that I've learned in the 6 years I've found I had to unlearn it all and start again,

If you wish I could get you in contact with him,he teaches from Skype and it's totally free,that's how you know it's the real mc coy lol,

Paul

Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk


Offline fluXx

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Re: My current mind
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2018, 07:12:51 am »
Hi fluXx,
I'm just studying the suttas,I've meditated for about 6 years,last year I found an American monk who has practiced in Thailand for about 35 years,he thought me a lot of things and best of all he teaches you what u need to know without all the bullshit that I've learned in the 6 years I've found I had to unlearn it all and start again,

If you wish I could get you in contact with him,he teaches from Skype and it's totally free,that's how you know it's the real mc coy lol,

Paul

Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk
Hi Paul,
That's a really interesting way to receive the teachings.
I'd like to find someone like him too.
Do you know if he takes up new students?
Any Buddhist teaching center is quite far away for me and difficult to combine with my daily work.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: My current mind
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2018, 09:52:43 am »

What troubles me with meditation is the quietness. It brings all the sensations of anxiety, scary thoughts, restlessness of the mind and pain in the body much more to the front. There's no way to escape from them anymore. I guess that's the point of it all, but it makes me uncomfortable.

You don't have to meditate when it is quiet. I often used to meditate listening to music (whatever type you like) and drinking coffee. Maybe you can use some noise until your practice allows you to meditate quietly.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline lucid365

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Re: My current mind
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2018, 10:06:16 am »
Hi fluXx,
I'm just studying the suttas,I've meditated for about 6 years,last year I found an American monk who has practiced in Thailand for about 35 years,he thought me a lot of things and best of all he teaches you what u need to know without all the bullshit that I've learned in the 6 years I've found I had to unlearn it all and start again,

If you wish I could get you in contact with him,he teaches from Skype and it's totally free,that's how you know it's the real mc coy lol,

Paul

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Hi Paul,
That's a really interesting way to receive the teachings.
I'd like to find someone like him too.
Do you know if he takes up new students?
Any Buddhist teaching center is quite far away for me and difficult to combine with my daily work.
I'll ask him if he's taking on new students,send me your skype on private message and I'll ask him,usually he will take on a new student without a problem

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Offline KathyLauren

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Re: My current mind
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2018, 02:48:48 pm »
Last night I was listening to Fred Davis on non dualism and the absence of the character or ego.
At the same time my 2 year old daughter was playing beside me.
I felt that a few things he said started to make a bit of sense until I was overwhelmed by a strong fear.
I looked at my little girl and I noticed how afraid I was of losing her and along all that I love. That because I may realise that none of us actually exist.
I feel how much I am attached to my girl, my wife, my parents and so on. I don't want to lose them even if their existence as an objecive human being is only an illusion.
I wouldn't mind having to lose any object, but not my loved ones. This feels really painful.

You say this as though you expect your daughter to suddenly vanish.  But that's not what the illusion of existence means.  Your daughter happily playing beside you is what lack of inherent existence looks like.  So nothing changes.  Realizing that existence is illusory changes nothing about how it appears.  You just understand something more about the nature of reality, but reality just continues along the way it always did.  Nothing vanishes.

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Another question I have:
How can I continue to love them if they're not really existing in the way I have always taken for granted?

Just continue to love them as you always did.  No need for that to change.

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A last question.
What is morality?
If there is no such thing as good and evil, why should we act in a way that doesn't cause suffering?
Why are buddhists always so kind and caring for everything if there is no good or bad.
What makes them act in ways that doesn't cause suffering? What is the motivation for that?

Our actions bring similar results.  Causing suffering brings us suffering.  Relieving suffering relieves our own suffering.  So even though "good" and "bad" are made-up categories, we should reduce the suffering of others if we want our own to reduce.  Or, if you like, you can equate "good" with reducing suffering, and "bad" with relieving suffering.  That makes a sound basis for compassion and for practical morality.

Om mani padme hum
Kathy

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: My current mind
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2018, 06:32:18 am »
I started out this topic asking 2 or 3 questions, but while I was writing them down I realised things which in turn brought many new questions.
I'm sorry for this long rant. I would want to split it up in different topics, but it's all so connected for me that I don't know where to split.

Great to read your well formulated questions, fluXx  .

Apparently, you have (without truly intending) demonstrated the path of a thought "process", which is in reality part of what we all are, but a series of causes and effects playing out until exhausted, until the last cause has resulted in the last effect, not knowing at any segment along the way where we are going to end up as a result. 

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First I must say that I suffer from depression.

This statement alone shows great insight.  From your subsequent statements you seem to have derived this conclusion first from observing your personal experiences and then at some point taken your observations to discuss with your personal health professional with the goal being advice and some means of assistance from the medical-pharmaceutical and psychological/psychiatric formats.  My only suggestion is for you to continue doing that, as these are paths which offer you the best potential of all possible outcomes.  The addiction you experienced to psychiatric drugs are not at all unusual and your observation that your addiction to them needed to be addressed was also very insightful and fortunate.




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  I'm afraid of death and isolation..

Yes.  All sentient life seems to be in the same boat in that regard.


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  Even before this depression I remember myself as a young kid asking questions of an existential nature. For example around the age of five I asked my mom "why do we live?" and I asked my dad "if the universe began with the big bang, what was there before that?" Each time I asked these kind of questions I felt strong anxiety coming over me, but I had no idea why that was.

These are the great questions that the great minds of science have been asking since science became a science.  So, you are in good company.


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  My young life wasn't always full of anxiety and depression. I remember many moments of great joy and magic.
A kind of magic that is lost to me now and where I desperately yearn for.


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I just really want to be happy again.

Welcome to one of many forums around the world where beings like us attempt to address this desire with the study of Buddhism. 
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline fluXx

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Re: My current mind
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2018, 08:51:31 am »
I think I understand a little more about emptiness, but still it makes me feel sad, so much that I prefer to quit thinking about it.

I can see that my wife is empty of self. I can see all the things in the universe through her except a separate self, meaning an object that isn't in relationship to everything else.

All the things in the universe sounds to me like a very symbolic meaning.
In reality it comes down to the atoms and other particles she is made of.
Of course those particles continuously enter and leave the body. Not a single one remains all her life.

If this is the case, how should I look at other people?
The concept of their seperate self is what I love. It's what defines them. A complex combination of matter, thoughts, feelings that when coming together make her and only her. And it's her that I love. Not just her nose or only a word she once said to me. It's the whole package.
Does my definition of love have any shortcomings as well?
Is "love" also empty of itself and full of all else?
Is love a feeling? What is love anyway?
I call this intense feeling I have when thinking about her love.
Is that feeling real love or something else? Is it maybe fear...fear to lose her? and that is maybe a perverted kind of love? what is real love then?
Does all this reasoning actually mean that I am just in love with my image of her? That sounds bad. How can I truly love her then?
Do I love her because she suffers and I don't want her to suffer?
When someone dies am I only sad because the image I have of this person is disappearing, but in reality the concept which I called that person never existed. It was only an idea in my mind to easily discribe something multi facetted and complex.
The idea of a seperate self for people automatically gives me a warm feeling, whereas the other makes me feel cold and empty inside.
Why is that? What is it that I am misunderstanding or missing?
Can somebody help me?
It hurts me to think this way.
Thank you.

Offline fluXx

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Re: My current mind
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2018, 02:26:37 pm »
I have given it more thought and I think I have an idea of what makes me feel depressed about this idea.
I have always thought of myself as something special. Someone who is here with a certain purpose.
But in fact I'm nothing special at all.
It's like in this way the mystery is solved. And it's just this mystery that I loved so much and what gave me purpose.
Now that I know the truth, there's nothing left to explore.
And that is the cold, loneliness and sadness that I feel.
If there is nothing left to explore then why am I still here?
It sounds like I have reasoned myself into believing that the self of I doesn't exist, but I haven't accepted it yet. I don't know it yet.
Sorry if that doesn't make sense.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: My current mind
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2018, 02:04:07 am »
Hi FluXx. Your posts should be read by everyone thinking of taking up meditation. It is not the easy, laid back path that many think, and is something that should be taken up with eyes wide open, and preferably with an experienced teacher. The problem with today's easy availability of material about all aspects of meditation is that it can all be taken out of context.

Meditating on emptiness is a technical stage in meditation which should only be undertaken when a teacher thinks that it is needed. It does not mean that everything is empty, but is an exercise along the way to loosen attachments that are holding an individual back from making progress. Done at the right time in the right context with the right support, it is a powerful tool. At the wrong time it can have the opposite effect to that intended.

My advice to anyone attempting such a step outside a supportive sangha would be to first spend a few years developing defensive meditations to have on hand for times when meditation gets rough. A couple of meditations which you can fall back on, which are guaranteed to leave you feeling at peace with yourself and the world. Something that will help you get to the other side of the bad patch, where you see what lies beyond emptiness and where you gain much more than you lose.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: My current mind
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2018, 07:06:09 am »
Hi, FluXx,
I get the impression that many folks who have some sort of mental problem consider Buddhism, or meditation practices, as a possible solution.

I'm not sure it always is. People with mental health problems who seriously take up Buddhist meditation practices, can get strange results.

If you are looking for a 'natural' cure for depression, then the best remedy is to get involved in some project or interest, or hobby, that you  are genuinely passionate about. A change in lifestyle is the best solution.

 


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